Laura Sharman 23 January 2018

MPs ‘strikingly pessimistic’ about the quality of local care homes

Two-thirds of MPs in England believe there is a lack of high-quality care homes for their older constituents to choose from, a new survey has revealed.

The research, conducted by Independent Age, also found that more than half (51%) of Conservative MPs and 83% of Labour MPs were concerned that the quality of the care homes market in their constituency will deteriorate over the next year if action is not taken.

The survey found the majority of all MPs - 82% of Conservatives and 92% of Labour - agree that older people who are eligible for residential care should receive a choice of at least one care home rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

‘MPs in England are strikingly pessimistic about the quality of care homes in their constituencies,’ said Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age.

‘Older people who need residential or nursing care need to be given a meaningful choice when it comes to their care, so it is worrying that so many MPs expect the quality of care homes in their area to get worse next year if nothing is done.

‘This is a stark reminder of the challenge facing Jeremy Hunt in his new expanded role as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The quality and cost of all types of care must be addressed in the forthcoming social care Green Paper for both the long and short term.’

In response, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned the underfunding of the sector is threatening the quality and availability of care on offer.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘Already we are seeing an unfair, unequal two-tier system emerging between those able to choose and pay for their own care, and those reliant on increasingly overstretched council-funded care which is struggling to meet people’s needs as a result of chronic underfunding of adult social care.

‘There is an urgent need for genuinely new funding and long-term reform of the sector to ensure people receive high-quality care at the right time and in the right place for them.’

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